Creating Chinese Modernity
Over the first half of the twentieth century, the lives of millions of urban Chinese were transformed by new ideas, new objects, new jobs, new leisure pursuits, new forms of transportation, new architecture: in a word, new «life-styles» and habits of mind. What did these changes mean to ordinary people? The essays in this book examine how prevailing discourses - on nationalism, feminism, democracy, individualism, socialism, and the like - emerged and were absorbed into the lived experiences and material culture of ordinary Chinese. Only from intimate personal experiences with forces ranging from war, revolution, and state-building to advertising blitzes and boycotts was Chinese modernity forged, forged out of «forces» larger than individuals but simultaneously observed, interpreted, adapted, and absorbed by those individuals.